Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, December 26, the fifty-second and final Lord's Day of this year 2021. As His pilgrim people, we praise the Lord for every blessing of His saving rest in Christ Jesus this past year on our Sundays. May today be another spiritual oasis for us as we journey to our heavenly homeland.
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. ...The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. ~ Psalm 34:1-3; 7-9
If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
- YOU ARE INVITED! This Friday evening (Dec.31 - Old Year's Day) and Saturday morning (Jan.1 - New Year's Day) the PR congregations will be holding special worship services to mark the end of the year of our Lord 2021 and the beginning of the new year of our Lord 2022. Most services begin at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 a.m., but check the website of the church near you for details.
- Last Sunday Rev. J. Langerak (Heritage PRC) accepted the call to Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA). We rejoice with this congregation in God's goodness, and also pray that the Lord may give grace to Heritage as they prepare to say farewell to their pastor and his wife.
- Last Sunday Rev. C. Spronk declined the calls from Hudsonville and Doon PRCs. We continue to pray for the needs of these vacant congregations, even as we are confident of their Shepherd's perfect care for them during their time of vacancy.
- Rev. D. Holstege and family are tentatively planning to move to Wingham this week and it appears his installation as Wingham's pastor will take place now on Sunday, Jan.9. We pray that the Lord may fulfill these plans for all involved.
- This is the time of year when the newly elected elders and deacons are installed into office in the PR churches. May we remember to thank the retiring men who have served and to pray for those entering office, some for the first time. May Jesus Christ, the only King of the church and the chief Shepherd of His sheep, use these officebearers for the proper care and guidance of His people. And we also remind our officebearers of the special resource section for them on this website.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R. Hanko in Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA); Rev. M. DeVries in Doon (IA) PRC (Rev. D.Kleyn for Old Year's and New Year's); Rev. T. Miersma in First PRC, Edmonton, AB (and this week's special services); Prof. B.Gritters and Prof. B.Huizinga in Grace PRC (Prof. B. Gritters - Old Year's and New Year's); Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. A.Spriensma in Hudsonville PRC (Old Year's - Rev. K.Koole; New Year's - Sem. M.Koerner); no supply in Wingham PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.
- For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.
A welcome and familiar scene this December (after last year) - Southwest PRC's Sunday School Program Christmas morning (Wyoming, MI)
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
From the PRC Contact Committee: The delegation to visit our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, plans to return this week. We pray for Prof. R. Dykstra and David Kregel and their wives as they finish their work and travel back to the States. Next week Prof. B. Gritters and Mr. S.Miedema leave to visit Covenant PRC in Ballymena, N.Ireland.
PRC Seminary Notices:
- The seminary is currently enjoying its Christmas/New Year break (Dec.19-Jan.2). Other than the holidays, the seminary is open daily (8-5), including the library and bookstore. The staff is available to assist with any other needs you may have as well. Feel free to call in advance for help with any questions.
- The second semester of the 2021-22 school year will begin, D.V. on Tuesday, Jan.18. The schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website and the PRC website. (see special calendars on the right side).
- The Fall 2021 issue of the PRT Journal is at the printer and should be ready by the end of January. But the digital edition (pdf) is now available on the seminary's website. If you want to be added to our mailing list (either print or digital), contact Sharon, the seminary secretary.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- This past week the church visitors from the PRC Contact Committee met with the Session of the CERC and fellowshipped with the saints. The delegation of Prof. Dykstra and D.Kregel and their wives will leave early Tuesday morning. Prof. Dykstra led both services today.
- From today's bulletin (special end-of-year message): As we conclude this festive season and this year of 2021, we conclude with the verse 15-17 of Psalm 90 “Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” This is our comfort, this is our peace. That our Lord Jesus Christ is ever faithful to his precious bride. Even though she sins greatly against God, even though she not just once or twice but constantly plays the harlot and is called a whore, God ever preserves her. God preserve her does so by supernaturally working in her repentance.
- Mission news from Kolkata (India): Today an adult baptism and an infant baptism took place. We praise God for this evidence of His covenant mercy!
- The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" is October 2021 - #64. Be sure to check it out for the latest news from our sister!
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A.Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to the saints in Ballymena. From Sunday's bulletin: Prof. Gritters and Elder Sid Miedema are to be in N. Ireland from 5-14 January. Prof. Gritters will be giving a lecture entitled, “Being the Hand of God: Godly Parenting in an Ungodly World,” on Wednesday, 12 January at 7:30 PM.
- The last CPRC newsletter - November 2021 - is available on the website! Visit this page to view it and read it (*cf. the newsletter column on the right side of the webpage).
- Be sure to check out the lastest edition of "Covenant Reformed News" - November 2021. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- The Kleyns are currently in USA. They are here especially to spend time with family and friends. They will also go to Iowa (this week) since Rev. Kleyn is scheduled to preach in Doon PRC on Dec. 31, Jan. 1, and Jan. 2. They plan to return to the Philippines on Jan. 4, Lord willing.
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V. Ibe led the services today.
- Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. R.Smit led her services today.
- Currently, Rev. W.Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC, Pennsylvania) is the featured speaker, with focus on a series on Hebrews 11. Today's message is a special end-of-year one based on Psalm 37:27,28 and titled "God's Saints Preserved."
- "The REFORMED WITNESS HOUR (RWH) COMMITTEE thanks you, PRC members, friends, and donors, for your prayers and financial support during 2021. As you plan for your year-end giving, we ask that you prayerfully consider helping with one of these current RWH costs: continued broadcasts on WYLL in the Chicago area and extended Internet outreach through our website (reformedwitnesshour.org), social media, and SermonAudio. Thank you for your continued support of this important PRC ministry."
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM
Back in print and highly recommended! Visit the RFPA website for more information.
- Are you interested in learning more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
- Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.
- For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.
- The Reformed Book Outlet is running their 25% off sale for the month of December again this year. This sale includes 25% off most books, Bibles, and Bible covers. Come visit us Tuesday - Friday from 10am-5pm, or Saturday from 10am - 1pm!
This Week's Thought for Contemplation
“'Peace on earth': this is the song of heaven’s army. Peace is something that exists in heaven, for there is peace in the being of God, peace between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and there is peace among the angels. Peace is harmony, wellness, or wholeness. To be at peace means to be in a harmonious relationship with God. The angels enjoy peace with God, for they have never sinned.
Man enjoyed peace with God before the fall, but he forfeited it by his sins. Now because of man’s sin, God is at war with man, and man is at war with God. Man hates God and fights against him, and peace is lost. As long as man is a sinner, peace with God is impossible. Peace must remain in heaven, but it cannot come to earth. That explains the history of this world, a history of man’s inhumanity to man and a history of war, violence, bloodshed, and murder. That explains God’s dealings with mankind, a history of terrible judgments because man has rebelled against his Creator.
But God made a promise to his people that he would send peace to men. That peace is brought about because of the coming of Jesus the savior. God creates peace between heaven and earth by coming to earth. The incarnation of the Son of God is the greatest announcement of peace that has ever been heard. In that great act, God says, “I am at peace with you. I am sending my Son to be the Prince of Peace.”
Moreover, that coming is not only an announcement, but it also actually accomplishes peace. It accomplishes peace by uniting in one person the divine and the human. Jesus is the second person of the holy Trinity; therefore, he is fully God. The man Jesus is the true son of the virgin Mary, of her flesh and of her blood; therefore, he is fully man. The incarnation brings these two together, the divine and the human. Therefore, Jesus comes as close to us as it is possible for him to come. He becomes one of us, our Immanuel, God with us. That is crucial to establish peace, for the divine Savior suffers for our sins in the human nature.
God will not simply forgive sin, for his justice must be satisfied. But we cannot satisfy God’s justice. One who is truly God and truly man does that. Since we can find no such person, God sends his own Son. That is the only way of peace, and all who reject this peace perish as God’s enemies. But all who by faith embrace this peace live forever as God’s friends.
What a wonder of grace: the Savior is born, to the glory of God, according to God’s good pleasure, and as proof of God’s goodwill, to bring us peace."
Rev. Martyn McGeown, Born for Our Salvation, 106-107.